Being in an unhealthy relationship is something women nowadays are not obligated to put up with. If they ever feel that their husband is not treating them good; they have the right to ask for a divorce. Otherwise, they could end up with mental problems or death. Back in the nineteenth century, divorce was not an option for women. Females were forced to stay with their husband whether they were treated right or not. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” were both written back in the nineteenth century and have characteristics of the way relationships used to be back then. "The Yellow Wallpaper" addresses the theme of women’s oppression through disregard and isolation, but "The Birthmark" presents the theme of women’s oppression through perfectionism and jealousy.
There are many events that can foreshadow the rest of one’s life for the better, or, for the worst. In Charlotte Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Jane (the narrator) struggles with a mental illness that causes her to become very weak so her husband, John, takes her to a country home to heal. While at the house she stays in a room that has old yellow wallpaper. Jane is deeply disturbed yet highly intrigued and maintains her deep inspections of the wallpaper as she stays there. Though Jane seemed mostly healthy, her illness takes hold and she ends up believing she had emerged from the wallpaper. John knows Jane has an illness worse than depression and takes every precaution so that when she snaps, his name does not go down with her sanity.
The short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a story full of imaginative symbolism and descriptive settings. However, without the narrator’s unique point of view and how it affects her perception of her environment, the story would fail to inform the reader of the narrator’s emotional plummet. The gothic function of the short story is to allow the reader to be with the narrator as she gradually loses her sanity and the point of view of the narrator is key in ensuring the reader has an understanding of the narrator’s emotional and mental state throughout the story.
What exactly defines one as “insane” versus “sane”, and where is the boundary between the two? Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” explores exactly that: the short story initially seems to be a tale of a 19th century woman forced into the notorious rest cure popularized at the time by male doctors--however, as the plot progresses, it becomes a much deeper commentary not only on societal limitations imposed on women, but also on the blurred line separating sanity from insanity. Gilman explores the boundary between sanity and insanity with the usage of different literary elements; she expresses how the boundary is “paper-thin” through the usage of symbolism, shows the subtle conversion to insanity by utilizing a stream of consciousness
Her descriptions of the room, with the furniture seemingly being nailed to the floor and the windows being “barred” show an underlying understanding that her thoughts and personality is being confined. The irony present in this description, due to her belief that the room used to be a nursery, shows her early denial of her husband’s dominance over her. As the story progresses and she begins to see the woman behind the wallpaper, the reader is exposed to the narrator’s realization that she is the one that is actually being suppressed. The descriptions of the wallpaper, showing how confining it is for the symbolic woman behind it, shows how the narrator is being trapped by those bars in both her marriage and in her mental illness. Thus when she says, “At night in any kind of light… it becomes bars,” the reader is shown how restricted the narrator feels, reflected through the wallpaper. In her society, it is the woman that is left to be alone in her own thoughts, shown through her husband’s freedom to leave the house and not come back until he wants to versus her confinement to the house. This is reflected through the various “hedges and walls and gates that lock”, making her stay isolated in the house. Ultimately, the character is overtaken by the imagination and through the
Insanity is a deranged state of the mind. Not everyone has the same experiences nor the same symptoms which lead to their mental disorder. In her story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman presents a peculiar case of insanity. The main character is put on bed rest to overcome her temporary nervous depression. However, while being stuck inside the room, the unreliable narrator increasingly becomes more and more symptomatic. Gilman shows the progression of the main character’s insanity through the woman in the wallpaper, John, and the bed.
The nineteenth century was a breeding ground for many literary movements, including realism, romanticism and naturalism. Realism consists of literature that is consistent, predictable, and sticks to the “simple truth” of how regular people live and talk. Romanticism is literature that contains things of intellect, strangeness and remoteness and tries to make the familiar unfamiliar. Finally, naturalism is literature that has regular people in extraordinary circumstances; the hero is at the mercy of larger social and natural forces, which are cruelly indifferent; traces of social Darwinism can be found in the literature and there is generally a brutal struggle for survival. Realism can be seen in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman,
“Now why should that man have fainted? But he did, and right across my path by the wall, so that I had to creep over him every time!”(Gilman 244). The narrator describes herself becoming part of an inanimate object and escaping her confinement. When she becomes depressed after giving birth to her child, the narrator has strict orders to follow in order to “make her better.” As she follows the doctor’s commands and isolates herself from everyone and everything she loved, she loses her mental stability. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator is treated for depression by “rest cure,” isolation from society, which affects her mentality causing her to become secretive, withdrawn, and insane. With the treatment
In the short story “the Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator, Jane who has just given birth becomes progressively more ill and depressed. Her husband John, who is a physician prescribes that she get lots of rest and fresh air so Jane and John rent a colonial mansion for the summer. Throughout the story John is one of the main causes for Jane’s deepening depression.
Paula A. Treichler from the University of Illinois analyzes “The Yellow Wallpaper” and its effects of the diagnosis given to the main character effectively in her article “Escaping the Sentence: Diagnosis and Discourse in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’”. In her article, Treichler emphasizes the reasons why the main character was lead to believe her diagnosis from her husband and the other contributing factors that played a role in her hysteria, such as lack of social interaction and confinement.
Oppression is defined as prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control. Cruel and unjust punishment is just the beginning for the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Charlotte Gilman while writing the “The Yellow Wallpaper” deciding to make it into a series of diary entries from a woman who is suffering from post-partum depression. The narrator begins by describing this large home that she and her husband have rented for the summer. Their summer house stands away from the road and contains many locks and little houses. The house is in a super-isolated place. The house represents the narrator 's personal emotions; restricted and isolation. In the story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the symbolism of the the wallpaper and the diary demonstrate the psychological difficulties, that were caused by being disrespected and thought less of, during the 19th century for women across the United States.
The short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is a brilliant piece of fictional literature. The tale involves a mentally ill woman who is kept in a hideous, yellow room under the orders of her husband, John, who is a physician. The ill woman is conflicted due to the fact that the horrifying yellow wallpaper in the room is trapping a woman who she must help escape, but the sick woman is aware that she must get better in order to leave the terrifying, yellow room. The setting and personification applied in the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, allows readers to develop an understanding of the sickness of the main character faces.
depression. In order to cure this depression, John, Jane’s husband and a doctor, administer the
"The Story of an Hour ' ' by Kate Chopin and "The Yellow Wallpaper ' ' by Charlottle Perkins Gilman are short stories about women in the late 1800 's. In "The Story of an Hour" the woman is living in the city, her husband has gone off to work, she has a heart condition, and she has believed he was dead. The husband appears and she dies because her chance at freedom is lost. While "The Yellow Wallpaper" is in a country house on vacation. She is forced to play sick and is told she must rest by her husband and doctor. As a result she moves into madness believing the wallpaper has come alive. Although both of these stories have many literary elements in the story, the three that are the most important are setting, irony, characterization.
Throughout the generation, women have always been trapped in some way or another. In the short story, ‘The Yellow Wall-Paper’ and the novel ‘The Awakening’ highlights the struggle of women in the late 1800’s and the early 1900s in society. The Yellow wallpaper is a short story about women giving birth and being imprisoned in a room with a weird view of the yellow wall-paper. This resulted in her hallucination lead to the development of mental illness. By the end of the story, she rips off the yellow wallpaper and kills her husband. Similar to this is the story of Edna in the novel ‘The Awakening’ by Kate Chopin. This story highlights the life of a woman who is trying to gain independence in a trapped society where it is impossible for women in that type of culture to be free. Society plays a major role in her story as the society oppresses her in such a way that results in a tragic ending.